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Tag: MOVIES

Overdue Reviews: 'Strange Days'

Overdue Reviews takes a critical look at tech-centric films that are well-loved, well-loathed or eye-rollingly obscure. When Kathryn Bigelow's 'Strange Days' was released in 1995, it didn't even break $8 million at the box office; with a production budget of $42 million, it was by all accounts a commercial disaster. Even the critically panned 'Johnny Mnemonic' pulled in $19 million, and cin...

MPAA Files Lawsuit Against Movie Rental Start-Up

Six movie studios have filed a federal lawsuit against Zediva -- a movie rental start-up that allows users to watch films shortly after they're released on DVD, but before they become available on services like Netflix or Redbox. According to Zediva's founder and chief executive, Venky Srinivasan, the company operates like any other brick-and-mortar DVD rental service. Users pay to rent indi...

Dish Network Buys What's Left of Blockbuster

Dish Network has agreed to buy Blockbuster more than six months after the movie rental chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Dish "won" a bankruptcy court auction for the company, with a winning bid of $320 million, although negotiations pushed the final price down to a paltry $228 million. Tom Cullen, Dish Network's executive vice president of sales, marketing and programming, says his goal is t...

James Cameron to Shoot 'Avatar' Sequels at Higher Frame Rates, Aiming for 'Reality'

During an address at CinemaCon in Las Vegas yesterday, James Cameron introduced what he considers to be the next frontier in filmmaking: faster film projection rates. It may not sound quite as sexy as some other cinematic techniques that Cameron has pioneered, but, according to the 'Avatar' director, faster frame rates could dramatically enhance image quality across all film genres. Today, m...

More Fox Shows Coming to Netflix, Including 'The Wonder Years'

The Netflix library just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Today the company announced that it struck a deal with Fox to bring older shows like 'The Wonder Years' (huzzah!) and 'Ally McBeal' (meh) to the streaming media service, as well as more recent titles like 'Glee' and the FX series 'Sons of Anarchy.' Fox will also be bringing "library" movies to Netflix after their pay-TV licenses expire....

Warner Bros. Expands Its Facebook Movie Rentals With 'Harry Potter'

Warner Bros. has announced that five new movies are now available to rent on Facebook, as part of a service that the studio launched earlier this month. In addition to 'The Dark Knight,' users will now be able to rent 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,' 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,' 'Inception,' 'Life as We Know It' and 'Yogi Bear.' Each film can be rented for 48 hours using Face...

Video Turntables Make Picking a Flick More Social

The Video Turntable is a unique installation that debuted at the Encounters Film Festival in the U.K. this week. The display uses QR codes to lead participants to a website on their smartphones, where they pick the trailer of one of the films being shown at the festival. Once selected, the trailer is projected onto a round bar table that viewers can gather around and watch together, allowing fe...

Starz Follows Suit, Withholds From Netflix

Oh Starz, you saucy minx. Just days after Showtime announced some pretty dispiriting caps on Netflix content, Starz has announced similar intentions. Starting April 1st, a 90-day delay will be applied to all original shows and movies that are currently airing. Starz says that older shows and movies won't be touched, but still this is terrible news for you folk just dying to see what this 'Camel...

IMDB App Update to Bring 'Watchlist,' Ticket Purchasing to iPhone, iPad

IMDB will release a major update to its app for iPhone and iPad today, designed to allow users to follow a movie's development from start to finish. With the update, users will be able to receive news on films and TV shows from the moment they're greenlit and up until the second they're produced via updates from IMDB. Selected projects can be added to a user's 'Watchlist,' which will display...

Showtime Puts Up Dukes, Plans to Pull New Shows From Netflix

So long, 'Dexter.' We hardly knew thee. Just days after Netflix announced its first foray into the content business (a political drama starring Kevin Spacey), Showtime said it would not be renewing streaming rights come summer for its shows that are currently on-air, such as 'Dexter' and 'Californication.' It's a little tit-for-tat; Showtime will be offering these shows on its own online service. ...

'Blinky' Offers Glimpse of Future Robot 'Helpers'

If we had to guess how the robot revolution would begin, it would look something like this. 'Blinky™' is the work of Ruairi Robinson, an Academy Award-nominated short film director. His latest work stars Max Records (from 'Where the Wild Things Are'), alongside an adorable helper robot named Blinky, who turns out to be quite good at following directions. Just hit play now....

Film Buff Uses Google Maps to Display Set Locations of 2,000 Movies

Edmund Helmer used to spend a lot his time on IMDB, where he would look up the exact filming locations of his favorite movies. One day, though, he decided to cut out the middle man, and created his own custom Google Map, showing more geographical movie information than anyone could ever desire. Using Google's Fusion Tables data management tool, Helmer created a map showing the precise set lo...

Viral Ads Grow Ever More Subtle -- But Are They Effective?

Remember the video of the mysterious hacker taking over the video monitors in Times Square? The one we were all sure was fake, probably? Well, the cynical among you can strike a smug pose because not only is the video fake, it's a viral ad for the upcoming Bradley Cooper vehicle 'Limitless.' Miss it? Scroll to 1:26, when the hacker tackles the big screen. Oh, whaddya know, that screen is playin...

Sci-Fi Movie Interfaces: Why Transparent Screens Are Miserable to Use

Yesterday, we sat in on the excellent 'Made it So (Interface Makers in Movies)' panel at SXSW with Chris Noessel, Mike Fink, Mark Coleran and David Lewandowski, some of the designers behind the on-screen interfaces in movies ranging from '80s classics 'Blade Runner' and 'WarGames' to modern day blockbusters 'Avatar' and 'Tron: Legacy.' The panel followed a simple question and answer format, ...

'Blade Runner's Mike Fink: Sound Sells a Fictional Computer

Sound goes a long way to selling futuristic interfaces. Especially with the new graphical interfaces -- they are non-tactile. No more clicking switches, turning things over that go 'clunk', little motors aren't turning gears to make needles move, nothing makes noise anymore. So you really have to add a sound component to give a tactile sensation to the audience. One of the first names in futu...